The battle for mobile device supremacy heated up in December 2008 with Blackberry‘s introduction in the US of its Storm, an iPhone-like device with a clickable keyboarding touch and nice 3G functionality.
However, a recent survey indicates that Blackberry has its work cut out for it. Not only has Blackberry marketshare only risen by 3 percentage points since October 2007, with a distinct leveling-off effect occurring, but Apple’s iPhone has increased its marketshare by 18 percentage points in the same timeframe.
Most bothersome to Blackberry must be the low satisfaction ratings users of the Storm are giving the device, compared with the nearly ecstatic levels of satisfaction iPhone users have given their devices. This does not bode well in the competition.
I recently had a brief encounter with a Storm, and found it lacking. The clickability is not as subtle as I’d hoped, and the whole thing felt plastic and unstable, more like an inexpensive Radio Shack gizmo than an expensive technology platform.
Finally, Apple’s iPhone is now available through the retail giant Wal-Mart here in the US, which will only drive its marketshare higher as its price point falls and availability increases.
As publishers ponder which platforms to support, the open development approach of Apple has a lot to be said for it. Throw in the licensed email solution necessary for a seamless Blackberry deployment, and I’ll wager that Blackberry will be circling the drain ala Palm in a decade or so, unless they severely modify their approach.